Celebrating Karneval, Scholarships, and Madison’s International Community

What a busy day this was for us! From morning to afternoon, we represented our school at the Overture Center International Festival. This year, our table was right at the rotunda, which was great exposure for our school. We loved chatting with everyone who stopped by, including familiar faces (Schwalben/Swallows teacher Jo Drury) as well as unexpected visitors.

Collage International Festival

In the afternoon, we celebrated Karneval/Fasching with arts & crafts and a costume parade. Have a look at all the fabulous costumes! Robots, fairies, and several Triwizard Tournament Champions were in attendance, as were Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz,  Axl Rose, and one Top Chef.

collage Karneval 2017

Collage Karneval 2017

What a great turnout! Special thanks go to Iris Hengst and Krista Bultmann-Spiro for organizing the event, as well as to everyone who helped with the setup and cleaning or who contributed treats.

Collage Karneval 2017

A highlight was the announcement of the winners of our Waldsee scholarship essay contest. Herzlichen Glückwunsch to the 8 (!) students who won a scholarship of $400 each towards attending  Waldsee, the German language immersion program in Bemidji, Minnesota, this summer. We are very grateful to Concordia Language Villages for providing this opportunity to our students.


Weihnachtsfeier mit dem Nikolaus


There were happy faces at our Nikolaus celebration on December 10.


There was story-telling…


…there was music 


…there was glitter


…there was food


..there were games




And there was, of course, St. Nikolaus himself


…who shared the story of the historical St. Nicholas 


..and brought small gifts for all children


Parents also had a great time!


We thank everyone who contributed to this lovely afternoon — parents, kids, teachers, friends, and especially our volunteers. We couldn’t do it without you.

May your holiday season be filled with light and friendship!



St. Nick Celebration


You are invited to our annual Nikolaus Festival Potluck Celebration

Date: Saturday, December 10th
Time: 2pm-5pm
Location: Shorewood Hills Community Center, 901 Swarthmore Court, Shorewood Hills
  • Please bring a contribution to the potluck (main dish, salad, bread, dessert).  We will have plates and plastic-ware available, but you are welcome to bring yours from home if you wound like (less waste).
  • We will sing a welcome song (Lasst Uns Froh und Munter Sein) for St. Nikolaus as a group around 2:30pm. See below for the text.  Youtube link : https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LtIAm_EM7kM
  • St. Nikolaus will read to us and give a small gift to the children. 
  • The potluck will start around 2:45pm.
  • There will be an arts and crafts table for the kids to make ornaments in the back room.  If your children play an instrument they are welcome to bring it and play 1, possibly 2 songs for background music after they have finished eating.  There is a piano in the back room.
  • Of course, there is no German school on that day.

Looking forward to a wonderful celebration with everyone!

Lasst uns froh und munter sein

Lasst uns froh und munter sein
und uns recht von Herzen freu’n!

Lustig, lustig, traleralera!
 Bald ist Nikolausabend da,
 bald ist Nikolausabend da!

Dann stell’ ich den Teller auf,
Nik’laus legt gewiss was drauf.

Lustig, lustig, traleralera!
 Bald ist Nikolausabend da,
 bald ist Nikolausabend da!

Wenn ich schlaf’, dann träume ich,
 jetzt bringt Nik’laus was für mich.

Lustig, lustig, traleralera!
 Bald ist Nikolausabend da,
 bald ist Nikolausabend da!

Wenn ich aufgestanden bin,
lauf’ ich schnell zum Teller hin.

Lustig, lustig, traleralera!
 Bald ist Nikolausabend da,
 bald ist Nikolausabend da!

Nik’laus ist ein guter Mann,
dem man nicht genug danken kann.

Lustig, lustig, traleralera!
 Bald ist Nikolausabend da,
 bald ist Nikolausabend da!

Karneval Party 2016

Karneval (or “Fasching”), sometimes called the fifth season, is a celebration that occurs just before Lent. Parades and street parties abound (especially in the Rhineland area), children wear costumes, and cities elect mock governors.
Here are some impressions from our 2016 Karneval/Fasching celebration. Thanks to everyone who came and shared in the fun! Special thanks to organizers Elisabeth Berkelman and Iris Hengst and to all the volunteers who helped out before, during, and after the party. You are the best!

Continue reading

Der Nikolaus kommt

nikolaus-liestYou are invited to our annual Nikolaus Potluck Celebration!
December 6, 2015 Sunday, Shorewood Hills Community Center, 901 Swarthmore Court


  • a contribution for the potluck meal (main dish, salad, bread, dessert or drink — anything is welcom),  a microwave, oven and stove are available
  • plates, cups and silverware for your family (if you care about the environment), we will also have paper goods/plastic cutlery available

The program will start at 4:30pm with a  welcome by our president, followed by some inspired singing of Advent songs (music provided).

If your child is participating in our project class that day (Deutsch 1/2/3 and DaF), he/she will meet St. Nikolaus during class. All other children (guests and siblings) will have the opportunity to meet St. Nikolaus during the celebration.

PLEASE NOTE: If your children are not attending our weekend class, we kindly ask that you reply to this email and let us know the number of children you are intending to bring. This information will help us plan better and ensure that a small treat is available for every child!

All are invited – this is an event for the entire German-speaking/German-interested community in the Madison area.

If you signed up to be a volunteer at the event, please report to the Community Center at 4:00PM

We are looking forward to seeing you all on Sunday!


On Saint Martin’s Day Germans celebrate the story of St. Martin, a soldier-turned-monk who cut his coat in half to share it with a beggar, with colorful lantern processions. This year, more than 100 GSoM friends and family members came to our St. Martin celebration. It was a wonderful evening for showing off all those colorful lanterns!


Ready for the lantern parade

Before the parade, we got together to learn about the story of St. Martin. Here, DaF teacher Chris Tabisz is enacting the separation of the coat.


Enacting the story of St. Martin


Drawing the story of St. Martin


There was also time to practice one or two lantern songs.


Lantern songs

Did you see the mug on the piano? Have a closer look:


President Catrin Weimbs showing off our new fabulous mugs

(If you would like to order a mug — $15 –, please send us an email.)

While the kids were out for the parade, volunteers set up the potluck table.


Volunteer coordinator Iris Hengst setting up the potluck table


Vanillekipferln donated by Clasen’s European Bakery

Finally, the parade!


Lantern parade


Lantern parade


Lantern parade


Lantern parade


Lantern parade


Lantern parade

Such a colorful night! Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate with us (and brought delicious food to share), to our DaF and D1/2/3 teachers for a wonderful project class, and especially to our parent volunteers for making it such a fun night for all!


Such a colorful night!

Laternenfest am 8. November


Impressions from German School of Madison lantern parade (2014)

This year’s St. Martin celebration will take place on November 8 (Sunday), from 4:30-7:30 pm at the Shorewood Hills Community Center (901 Swarthmore Court). The program will begin with a performance of the story of St. Martin. At about 5 pm we’ll head out for the lantern parade around the Shorewood Hills neighborhood. Afterwards, we’ll head back to the Community Center for a potluck meal together.

All invited!

Please bring:

  • lanterns and matches (if you are using candles)
  • reflective clothing and/or a flashlight
  •  a contribution for the potluck meal
  •  plates, cups, and cutlery for your family, if you choose to do so (but we will also have disposable items)

If you signed up to be a volunteer at the event, please report to the Community Center at 4:00PM.

If you are looking for some inspiration on making a lantern, websites such as Pinterest.com or familie.de have plenty of great examples.

We hope to see you all!

2014-11-09 11.09.36 pm